Makoto’s sentiment would make more sense in a longer adaptation. In this specific one, however, she’s only spent like… what? Two whole episodes with the gang? And she already feels like she belongs? Sheesh. Yeah, sure, these past two episodes actually cover a huge chunk of in-game time, but this doesn’t make the adaptation any less dissatisfying to watch. Ah well, this seems to be a major problem for a lot of anime adaptations lately. They actually end up being too short to tell the story that they want to tell. But enough about that. Let’s get on with the rest of the episode.
— Y’know, maybe getting into a relationship with Makoto is a bad idea simply because Ren has to tell Sae everything. I mean, would you really want to tell a public prosecutor that you’re hooking up with her little sister? Yeaaaah, let’s not.
— Nevertheless, here he is, making plans to level up his social link with Makoto.
— This Ren is actually focusing a lot on his friendship with Ryuji. Maybe Ann and Yusuke are being saved till later. Maybe never. I know a lot of people think that Ann is very basic personality-wise, but eh, I prefer realism over super hacker imouto who memes it up and loves anime. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, we’ll get to her soon enough.
— This is kind of a lazy way to approach dungeon crawling.
— A lot of people dislike the confusing maze in one palace (it never bothered me) or the nonstop rat escapades in another one, but Kaneshiro’s Palace is by far my least favorite. It’s just so boring to look at.
— During their downtime, Ann and Makoto make amends so that they can move forward as teammates. I actually can’t remember if this scene takes place in the game or not. I think it did. Either way, unless the adaptation builds on this relationship, this moment will just feel like a throwaway scene.
— We then see the two girls excel in battle with their newfound teamwork. That would’ve been cool to have in the actual game, I guess. Kinda reminds me of the joint attacks in Persona 4: Golden. Since I tended to have Chie and Yukiko in my active party a lot, I can’t even count the number of times I saw their Twin Dragon move. Y’see, this was yet another feature that never got carried over to P5, so sometimes, the game felt like a step back from its predecessors.
— What a lousy TV in this day and age.
— And now we get to see Ren and Makoto at the arcade. It’s funny, because they still haven’t stolen Kaneshiro’s treasure. You can’t start her social link yet. It’s the same way with all of the characters. You can’t level up your relationship with Ann until you beat Kamoshida. The idea is that they’re too focused on the task at hand to really hang out. Sure, it’s not a big deal narrative-wise, but shhh…
— Sure feels like they want Makoto to be the canon love interest, though. Unfortunately, even in these small, one-on-one moments, Ren has very little to say. The girl is dominating the conversation.
— This time? Have you forgotten the rapey PE teacher? C’mon, Ann.
— Yo, when are they gonna localize this adaptation? I would totally watch it again just to hear the English voice acting.
— Kaneshiro turning into a fly is pretty amusing.
— Hm, our not-so-mysterious individual is watching everything.
— Again, I don’t particularly care for Kaneshiro’s Palace, but I did like fighting the giant piggy bank. I thought it was fun and inventive. Not hard, unfortunately. Nothing in either Persona 4 or 5 is hard. Persona 3, on the other hand, had some tricky bosses to deal with… especially since you couldn’t control your own party members and stop them from being abject idiots. Luckily, it’s a JRPG, so overleveling is always a viable option.
— Y’know, I think P3‘s super boss is also the hardest of the three… you have to fight her solo. I had no problems whatsoever with P5‘s superboss(es), but then again Yoshitsune doesn’t exist in P3.
— The gimmick for this fight in the game is that you can distract Kaneshiro with expensive items. I was too protective of my Beads and Chewing Souls, though. Hey man, I need those! I need every single SP-recovering item there is! It’s okay, we can just eat the big damage.
— For obvious reasons, however, the adaptation doesn’t want to have the characters throw a bunch of random junk onto the battlefield. Narrative-wise, it just doesn’t make sense. The adaptation hasn’t made any mention whatsoever of recovery items. Do you really want them to try and explain why a Bead is so valuable? So instead, the adaptation just has Ann set fire to Kaneshiro’s fat sacks of money. That works, I guess.
— Y’know, I really thought a giant metallic piggy would be weak to electric attacks. Unfortunately, none of the bosses in P5 actually have any elemental weaknesses. I can see why they did that. The game is already easy enough as it is.
— So many remixes in this episode…
— Lots of baton passing, too. If you’ve never played the game, however, you might be wondering why these characters keep high-fiving each other in battle.
— Ryuji kinda looks like he has a Hitler ‘stache in this scene.
— In the adaptation, this is the first time that the kids hear about the individual with the black mask. In the game, however, Madarame mentions him first. Again, I’m not sure why they felt this change was necessary.
— Oh well, that’s another stolen treasure and three palaces down. We still have four to go… five if you count the final dungeon, but it’s not really as elaborate as the others. In any case, the adaptation is going to have to pick up the pace.
— “Beneath the Mask” is playing during this scene, and it’s a great song. It’s even the vocal version.
— Dude, Kobayakawa’s head is like two times bigger than hers in volume.
— You are starting to see signs that Sae is not exactly the respectable adult that she has made herself out to be. There’s nothing wrong with climbing the career ladder, but public servants should be held to a higher standard. She’s not content with just locking away a major crimelord. Instead, Sae’s pissed that she can’t milk this opportunity for a promotion. What a shame. Luckily, Makoto has found a new source of inspiration in life.
— Looks like we’ll be spending time with both Akechi and Yusuke in next week’s episode. I imagine the story will also have to start introducing the next character to join the Phantom Thieves of Heart. It’s not like we’ve got a lot of time to dawdle.
— In the after credits scene, we can see Ren leveling his social link with the Twin Wardens. It’s rather simple, really. Provided you understand fusion mechanics and have some money to burn. As for the Twin Wardens themselves, I didn’t find them very interesting. They’re not as bad as Margaret, who was completely devoid of personality, but they’re not as charismatic as Elizabeth either. Oh well, it’s not like they have a lot to work with. The two girls are stuck in the Velvet Room, and there’s not much you can do with that.
— All in all, this week’s episode is another middling effort from CloverWorks.